Thursday, November 8, 2007

Welcome to the Class

+++ Edited on 9 Nov +++

I thought it would be fun to have another class blog, this time focusing on quick Winter or Christmas wallhangings. There's no charge, this is my present to you. The class is open to anyone, but the rules are you have to make the quilt up out of your own head. No patterns. No templates. No EQ quilter. This is all about free-piecing or applique. There will be no set instruction. I'm not going to tell you what to make. But I will hopefully provide you lots of inspiration and encouragement.

Don't know where to start? Write out a list of what Christmas means to you. Do it really fast either on the computer or with pen and paper. Be specific. If you're from northern climes then Christmas may very well mean snow, but to my friends down under I suspect it's greener. And do kangaroos really pull Santa's sleigh? I love that idea. You could also make this quilt for a specific person or family. Get them to make the list if you're stuck for ideas. This would be a great quilt to collaborate on with your kids.

Here's a fast list from me: Let it Snow, Frosty, Rudolph, Grinch, Santa Clause, tree, ornaments, fire in the fireplace, stockings at the chimney, snowmen, mittens, I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, presents.

That was fast, not very exciting. But it doesn't have to be. From that list I can see I still associate winter with Christmas even though it's been well over 10 years since I've seen much snow all winter, let alone at the approprite festive time. I could do a really fun wallhanging with asterisk snowflakes and mittens and the word SNOW repeated. Or the lyrics from the song. I don't know how that quilt might turn out, but I don't have to know to start. Just make a block that inspires you and go from there.

Or if you're more in the mood to applique, how about a Christmas or winter bouquet? You've seen my Blooming Horrors? And how about Kristin's fabulous Bootiful Booquet? Well you can do the same thing using novelty prints that are appropriate for the season.

If you in a goofier mood, how about combining Christmas with Halloween? Skeleton Santas? Santa with a black cat and jack'o'lantern?

Since you are coming up with your own ideas you are only limited by your own willingness to try. You can make anything you want, but you have to do it.

Dive right in or doodle some ideas first. I came up with this Merry Christmas, Earthlings drawing this morning. I might have to make it a little bigger so that I can get a 3-fingered hand in the picture. And yes, you can take this idea and run with it - I know whatever quilt you come up with will look much different than mine. I'd love to see some alien or monster santas out there.

How about cats and/or dogs looking forward to the arrival of Santa Claws? Although that could be for a Halloween/Christmas combo quilt as well. mwah ha ha.

I do love novelty prints when I'm working on house blocks. Try combining winter/Christmas fabrics with whatever else you love. Toy or candy fabric would obviously go with the theme of Christmas, but bugs, aliens, robots, pirates, Elvis, motorcycles, or martinis would be a hoot. Seeing Angela's little girl in her fairy costume makes me think of adding fairies.

Stuck for ideas? I just browsed through's Magic fabric. What an absolute hoot. I could have a great time making a pink and lime green christmas fairy quilt for a little girl.

Speaking of novelty fabrics, consider using it as the whole middle of the fabric and just add name(s) or word(s) in the borders, rather like I did in my Merry Penguins quilt (which still doesn't have binding - d'oh!)

It's a great showcase for your quilting. Also a great place to practise since this is a quilt that you will probably only use seasonally. Trust me, that is a fast quilt. A fat quarter is all you need for the center.

How about those ideas for starters? Want to come play with me? Although I admit I might not be doing all that much sewing myself.

You'll need a blogger account if you want to make posts on this blog. But you don't have to post here to be a part of the fun.

If you want to participate send me an email (tartbr47 at hotmail dot com). I need to know:

What name you want to go by
Do you want to participate in the group blog? If so, I need an email address
to send you your invitation to join. If you don't already have a Blogger account,
you will be prompted to create one. you don't have to have a blog, just the account)
Do you have another blog elsewhere that you'd like me to post in the sidebar?

If you don't have a blog and don't want to create one, I am willing to add your photos for you as long as I don't get too overloaded.

Everyone will be able to read this blog and leave comments, so I hope you'll stop by and see what's happening here, even if you don't want to play.


Anonymous said...

Hi Tonya,
you got me, I'd like to play too. I'm not very good at inventing, I'm a good copyer, so don't expect too much, but I'll try :-))
I'll have to think about this blog thing, but in the meantime here's my webpage:

First thoughts or tune ....Last Christmas by Wham, so you can expect hearts, hearts and hearts...and maybe elks

Kristin said...

Thanks for the mention, Tonya! I actually bought some of the Holly Jolly fabric line with the intention of making an appliqued Christmas wall hanging. I have some ideas for what I want, but will also be asking the kids to help me with design ideas so it will be a family project. I'd love to join the class!

Rose Marie said...

I've been wanting to make a winter hanging and try your wording as well for some time now. Guess, it is time for me to bite the bullet and join in! When do we start?

Diane said...

Tonya, I've been green with envy ever since you closed the membership to your first class. I had actually started doodling ideas for a Christmas project. This may actually get me motivated to make it! Here's my inspiration: BAH HUM BUG!

McIrish Annie said...

I'm in! have snowflakes swirling in my head with houses and evergreen trees! but looking out a window, cause I hate to be cold!!

ErikaP said...

Since I missed your last class, I'd love to participate in this one!

jude said...

i'm in. i left a comment before but i don't see it here.

jmbmommy said...

I am in...but really is it January 2008 in Paris??

Søren said...

I'm sooo excited to actually make myself make the time to make a quilt with your methods! I'm not sure how to translate the things I think of when I think of the holidays into a quilt, things like cozy rooms with snow swirling outside... so this will be a good challenge!

QuiltingFitzy said...


I'm SO in.

Archaic Dome said...

I'm in, but I too am a copyer. Maybe I'll tweak your Santalien into a Vulcan- not a big stretch, so it's still inside my comfort zone...

Heather said...

I would like to join the Christmas quilt class. I am in Australia and Christmas Day is spent at the beach. I'm cooking up a few beachy ideas.

Thanks for facilitating the fun! I'm a new quilter and have been lurking around the blogs for a while. Great for sewing motivation!


Lazy Gal Tonya said...

ack, I've made some changes. Didn't like having this as a sticky post. but yes, jmbmommy it really is january here in paris, mwa ha ha ha.

Kim said...

Oh I'd love to play- maybe I can get DD to draw something out -

Tracey in CT said...

Hi Tanya! Please include me in the fun!!! Since I did the October wallhanging, I've decided that I need some other seasonal decorations, so this is perfect!!!
Thank you so much for doing this!

jenclair said...

I want to play, too. I'm just afraid I won't follow through with my commitment. May I audit the class?

Tricia said...

I would like to play too... it's about time I made a new Christmas Hanging... my current one must be t least 8 years old... I have to dig it out and post a picture